Five Top Book Picks on World Expos

Continuing a long tradition that began in London in 1851 with the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations, this year's Expo Milan 2015 opened its doors to the world on May 1. 

As part of our ongoing coverage of World Expos, CPD is pleased to highlight five top reads on these mega-events where public diplomacy, nation branding and culture intersect:

Rydell - All the World's a Fair

All the World’s a Fair: Visions of Empire at American International Expositions
By: Robert Rydell
(University of Chicago Press, 1984)
Based on his research of documents from the time, Robert Rydell explains how early World Expos in the United States legitimated attitudes of racial superiority and the creation of an empire.

Rydell - All the World's a Fair

An Empire on Display: English, Indian, and Australian Exhibitions from the Crystal Palace to the Great War
By: Peter Hoffenberg
(University of California Press, 2001)
Focusing on the interactive nature of exhibitions, Peter Hoffenberg explains how the United Kingdom shaped culture and society in London, Sydney and Calcutta between 1851 and 1911.

Expo: Internal Expositions 1851-2010
By: Anna Jackson
(V&A, 2006)
Anna Jackson colorfully illustrates the evolution of World Expos, from their roots at the Great Exhibition of London in 1851 to Expo Shanghai 2010.

Fleeting Cities: Imperial Expositions in Fin-de-Siècle Europe
By: Alexander C. T. Geppert
(Palgrave MacMillan, 2010)
Through an analysis of five imperial expositions held between 1896 and 1931 in Berlin, London and Paris, Alexander Geppert explains how modernity was portrayed in Europe.

Shaping China's Global Imagination: Branding Nations at the World Expo
By: Jian Wang
(Palgrave MacMillan, 2013)
In a comparative analysis of eight national pavilions in Expo Shanghai 2010, Jian Wang looks at the role of nation branding in World Expos as a way to enhance soft power.


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